Colorado: Law Explicitly Permits Banks to Loan Money to Marijuana Businesses

Denver, CO: Banks and other financial institutions may provide loans to marijuana-related businesses under legislation signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.

House Bill 1217 states, “A state chartered bank or a credit union may loan money to any person licensed … for the operation of a licensed medical or retail marijuana business.” The law takes effect on September 1, 2020.

Federal laws and regulations strongly discourage banks from entering into relationships with licensed cannabis businesses. According to newly compiled data by the US Department of Treasury, an estimated 700 depository institutions nationwide are actively banking with cannabis-related businesses.

In September, members of the US House of Representatives voted 321 to 103 to advance The SAFE Banking Act, which seeks to amend federal law so that financial institutions can work directly with the marijuana industry. Members of the Senate have yet to take any action on the measure.

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator.